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Is your hotel generating enough online reviews? Or are you only getting a handful?

We ask because it turns out that the volume of reviews you’re getting – on sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google, Kayak, and Oyster (among others) – can actually influence how positively (or negatively) potential guests will view your hotel. In fact, a study published recently by Spanish professors in the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly shows that, as more reviews are posted on a site, the overall tone becomes more balanced.

(Check out: “Ethical Ways to Generate More Positive Online Reviews”)

Entitled “Online Customer Reviews of Hotels: As Participation Increases, Better Evaluation is Obtained,” the study analyzes a broad and varied sample of more than 16,600 hotels in 249 tourist areas. The researchers found that initial (the earliest) online reviews of hotels tend to be more negative. As the number of reviews increases, however, the overall evaluations improve – and the negative effect of the first reviews is mitigated.

For example: when a hotel only has 11 to 20 reviews, an average of 23 percent rate the hotel as terrible or poor. Meanwhile, when a hotel has more than 100 reviews, only 13 percent rate the property as terrible or poor. In short: the more reviews, the merrier.

“If the earliest reviews are posted when the hotel is brand-new, it could just be because new hotels usually have some kinks to work out before they get things running smoothly,” theorized Kelsey Blodget, editorial director at Oyster, in an interview with Los Angeles Times. “It could also be that those with negative things to say are the most eager to voice their opinions and are more likely to be the first (reviewers).”

The results of the study suggest that hoteliers and hospitality executives can enhance their overall online reputation by increasing their number of reviews and encouraging guests to provide their feedback. This way, they can balance the overall impression being painted by consumer-generated reviews of their hotel.

If you’re looking for a tool to help you generate more reviews, give ReviewTrackers a try. We’ll help you get more people to talk about your business online. In fact, our team of ninjas recently introduced a free Review Request feature that allows you to make the process of requesting customer feedback faster and more streamlined than ever. For more info, send us a message via http://www.reviewtrackers.com/contact/.

Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He's a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.

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